The Strain Finale Recap: Master Clash

The Strain Finale Master Escapes

As FX’s The Strain scared up its freshman finale, Eph & Co. got a bead on The Master’s new hideout, Zach’s mom Kelly resurfaced and Gus was enlisted by an army.

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After dreaming of the day his parents surprised him with a new bicycle, Zach awakes to the nightmare everyone now lives in, as the gr’ups ponder their next move — to find out where The Master is currently lying low during daylight, ’til his coffin is rebuilt. Eph and Fet surmise that their adversary is making camp at the old theater that turned rocker Gabriel Bolivar rented out. Fet then leads Eph to an underground tunnel that in olden times was used to shuttle bootleg liquor to the theater when it was a speakeasy. They follow the tunnel, then sneak upstairs to spy a buncha munchers nesting alongside the broken coffin — then turn tail until they can return with back-up.

Reconvening at Fet’s, Eph talks to Nora, who’s now darker than ever in the wake of her mother’s turning. When Eph posits that he can’t leave Zach alone to participate in the attack, Nora charges him to get like Rick Grimes and get his boy battle-ready! So, after Setrakian fits Zach with a silver sword all his own, Eph teaches the kid a few strigoi-skewering tricks, including how to (PRO TIP!) plunge deep into their bone-free bellies.

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TheStrain_Finale_GroupEph, Fet, Zach, Nora, Setrakian and Dutch embark down the tunnel, where Fet uses some TNT to blast to bits a mob of strigoi who’d bunched up near the shaft of sunlight he created through a manhole. They then head upstairs to the theater, where The Master’s voice taunts “woodcarver” Setrakian — and the old man is ready to rumble: “It’s his turn to hear me! Let’s finish this!” So, as Fet and Dutch take on Setrakian, and Nora grapples with Bolivar, Setrakian tries to get his cuts in with The Master, to little effect. (Maybe if he didn’t overly telegraph his saber strikes? Yeesh.) But then Eph gets the idea to break some windows and splinter the attic with sunlight, seemingly impairing The Master. (Yet still, no one goes in for a savage slashing??) Finally, Setrakian gets in a solid strike, at which instant all of The Master’s nearby minions — Eichorst and his face full of silver nails included — abruptly abort their skirmishes and retreat into the shadows.

The Master then pitches himself out a picture window and onto a rooftop, where he doesn’t fry up into a crisp but almost defies the sun, and then scampers away down the side of the building to places unknown. This leaves the group gobsmacked, realizing that The Master cannot be felled by mere sunlight. (Me? I never would have assumed/imagined that the one called The Master was vulnerable to the most base of the strigoi weaknesses. But whatever.)

Faking asthmatic wheezing, Zach dupes everyone into making a stop at his mom’s house, just so that he can grab a photo album — at which point he and Eph spend an inordinate amount of time reminiscing about birthday cakes and such, here in the middle of a vampocalyspe. And then Kelly herself shows up, though Eph can’t/won’t get off a kill shot.

Elsewhere in the finale:

* Now as fit as a fiddle, Eldritch is cheesed off to realize that The Master bestowed upon him not immortality, but merely robust health: “What, am I on some waiting list?!” Eichorst assures his benefactor, “You will serve at his right hand eternally, eventually.” Eldritch — minus Fitzwilliams, who has decided to bail on his increasingly warped employer — then pays a visit to the panicky Secretary of Health and Human Services, TheStrain_Gus_Quinlanif only to lob her over the railing onto the street far below. And on that note, Eph’s wimpy CDC boss gets a promotion!

* Abducted by the “good” strigoi army, Gus asks their leader, Quinlan, what is wanted with him. They note that he has a beef with Eichorst, and that he probably craves revenge for his mother’s and best friend’s turnings. Presenting him to a slumbering trio of Master-like “ancients,” Quinlan explains that “an ancient truce was broken, an act of war declared” by The Master — and they need a human soldier on their side of the fight. In return, Gus gets payback — and a “rich payday.”

What did you think of The Strain‘s first season finale? Did the melee with The Master end with a bit of a whimper? Any wishes/suggestions for Season 2?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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20 Comments
  1. Kubrick says:

    Wow all I can say is Nora grew a pair this episode.

  2. Gerald says:

    What a disappointing finale, basically filler and more nonsense. Overall, kind of a lackluster season finale. I mean the same old thing happened, they found The Master and he escaped…again. It would have been cool to see at least 1 of the main characters killed off, but we didn’t really get anything in this that made it seem like a season finale.
    – The group against the master/other vampires that Gus is a part of, how/what do they eat since they want to save human civilization?

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      And that IS why there’s a season 2. I thought the master was going to off Abraham also let’s see they didn’t kill the wife nor the STUPID german which i’m getting sick of seeing. Overall I gave this finale a B.

  3. Annie says:

    Favorite quote was by Gus to Quilan: what, you feeling like Mexican! I want to know more about the vegan vamps. also want to know when Eldritch s assistant is going to meet up with team scooby or the vegan vamp.

    • Joey says:

      It’s not so much that those “good” vamps are “vegan”,as you say, but… *zips lips* Well, Quinlan is a very special case, if it follows the books. The other Ancients are just like the Master, though they have an agreement that the Master broke, hence their acting against him.

      • Annie says:

        Ooohhh, you have to leave me hanging with that tease! I’m curious as to why the good/did not eat Gus group seems to against the Master. Yes, I know Master and his group broke a truce, but what exactly happened? Wanted to kill Zach for faking the asthma attack. GRRRR

  4. Joey says:

    I especially thought Dutch was going to bite the big one in this episode since she wasn’t in the book series. Overall it was pretty good, but now that this is over, I’m looking forward to AHS: Freak Show as my FX show of choice starting up on Wednesday.

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      Whaaaat Dutch is not in the books?! Haha so they pulled off a walking dead last min. character put in with Norman Reedus playing Daryl. Which I can’t wait to see NEXT Sunday The Walking Dead BITCHES!!!!!!

  5. Derek Johnson says:

    Overall, this season was pretty good, not great. Too many tricks I’d already seen on The Walking Dead.
    The Master’s escape actually played out better in the book than in the show. Haven’t read book 2 yet, but hope they add some new faces to the band of warriors (like Fitzwilliams). Would love to see you do a Q-and-A with Carlton Cuse or another of the executive producers.

  6. M3rc Nate says:

    I’ll say this about the TV series in general….it didnt feel tight, not like TWD, it doesnt feel like it can go long term (like TWD), it feels more like….Underworld or something. I imagine it has to do with a few things, specifically the episode count being so few, they had to make quick advancements in the plot, im not saying it felt rushed per-say, but i dont know…it just doesn’t have that “Ya thats how it would happen if ____ existed!” feel like TWD. Something else is the vampire character designs (especially the “master”) are lame as frak. The Master looks like a joke, his wobbly fingers are lame, he is 0% intimidating, in fact his weird lips just make me laugh…the soldier vampire (“good” guy) looks cooler but those buck teeth…more laughing. The “stinger”? Not really scary, it just makes plot holes, like how can that group avoid them so often? I know, they have “Main Character Shields” on thats how. If in their blood/fluids are the worms to infect you…no way using guns and swords (especially close range) you wouldnt get arterial spray that infects you.

    As for this finale….meh, a C, season 1 being a B- IMO. Without the character Vasiliy Fet id say its a C-. The main character is kinda annoying, his son (and how they interact) is kinda annoying, the Latina was alright and hot until her mother entered the picture and since she has been annoying, Dutch is alright, Vasilly is freaking awesome and a badass, the German is a pretty good bad guy.and the Jew is a pretty cool good guy.

  7. M3rc Nate says:

    Oh, and i couldnt believe for a second after getting the Master outside, they would stand around with their D’s in their hands just staring…no way, they would be on-top of him hacking away, making SURE hes dead…but no, hes got the “Main Character Shield” on too, meaning no matter what, the plot and story will be written (no matter how unrealistic) so that he survives.

  8. Tim says:

    Can’t stand the little boy. I was really hoping he’d get a tongue lashing to the neck.

  9. Ezzy Klein says:

    Poorly written episode. Disappointed with finale.

  10. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Curious to see Gus working with Quinlan and his Army next season……if Eph and co. can’t take out the German dude I HOPE Gus kill his ass! Plus I think Quinlan KNOWS what can kill the Master since sunlight can’t do it.

  11. MarkC says:

    Is anyone else bothered by gus’ over the top fake tough guy voice. Is he an English actor?

  12. IMHO says:

    Rather uneventful for a Season Finale.
    I would assume actually killing the Master when you have him lying on the rooftop stunned by the sun may interfere with the continuation of the Series BUT just standing there looking at him and threatening him was stupid.
    I wanted to throw something at the TV !

  13. Martin says:

    My only wish for Season 2:

    DUTCH TO BE A SERIES REGULAR!!!!

  14. It was pretty stupid they stood there and looked at the master for 5 minutes then the old man dramatically talked. If the old man’s character was hell bent on killing the master he would not have hesitated. They did piss poor writing on that part. I understand that without the master then the story would be gone. They just needed a better, closer escape.

  15. Please kill off the Australian girl. Please her accent sux and so does her acting.